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Circuit court judge: “Marsy’s Law” is invalid due to flaws in ballot question

On the heels of last week’s decision regarding Marsy’s Law, we learned today that a Dane County Circuit Court judge has ruled that the amendment to Article I, § 9m is invalid because the ballot question presenting the amendment to the voters was flawed. The court ruled the question failed to fully and fairly inform the public of the essential components of the amendment, misstated the contents and impact of the amendment, and improperly encompassed more than one subject. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Justice Initiative, which reported the development in a blog post that included a link to the circuit court’s decision. The court sua sponte stayed its ruling pending appeal, so stay tuned.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Andrew M Morgan November 3, 2020, 10:34 pm

    The term “victim” is defined in the amendment principally as “A person against whom an act is committed that would constitute a crime if committed by a competent adult.” This puts the cart before the horse. It requires an adjudication, express or implied, that an act was committed, that the act committed is a crime, and that the crime was committed against the particular person asserting victimhood. It is highly prejudicial to the accused–who has the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, decided by a jury–to have someone show up at every court hearing, already granted broad deference and consideration, already adjudged a “victim” at some vague, lower standard of proof. Labels matter, they carry emotional weight. This amendment gives the “victim” a right to be heard at any proceeding, without limitation, arguably granting the right to make direct unsworn emotional pleas to a jury during trial. The amendment is also offensive to the right to present a defense and the right to a public trial, by expanding a right of privacy afforded to accusers, out of all proportion to that of the general public, and in constraint of the right of free speech on the part of the defense. This great deference to “victims” is also insanely hypocritical, for it does all this but refuses to allow the “victim” to choose not to press charges.

  • Craig Johnson November 4, 2020, 10:52 am

    Great advocacy by attorney Dennis Grzezinski on behalf of WJI and the other plaintiffs.

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